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Introducing Kevin Francis Design

I say it quite a bit, but today's youth is driven and passionate about so many things.  They know what they want in live and many of them start their careers while still in high school.  I have met countless high school students who have started blogs, started businesses and even one darling girl who started a jewelry business while she was just nine.  I am always blown away but how dedicated and driven these individuals are, and I find them so incredibly inspiring.  One of my favorites in this category is my friend Kevin O'Gara.  I met Kevin at an ADAC opening four years ago.  He introduced himself and we chatted and then he headed back to school, as a junior in high school.  I immediately knew I needed to know more about him.

Kevin began his blog, Thou Swell, in 2013 with a passion for interior design.  I interviewed Kevin for a post a few years ago and found his journey to be so inspiring.  I love that his journey started so young and he has achieved such success.  I was not surprised at all when he shared with me this summer that he had developed a rug line.  Since I love every single thing he writes and works on, I knew immediately I would absolutely love his rugs.  I was spot on with my intuition.

Inspired by the traditional garden maze, the first collection includes five designs, each available in five colors.  I love how versatile they are, I can imagine them in so many rooms and spaces.  The rugs are hand tufted in India with a combination of wool + bamboo silk.  The description alone makes them sound dreamy, don't you think?

I asked Kevin for the back story about this endeavor and he graciously shared so many details which I have added below in his own words.

In early 2017, I was approached by a rug showroom in Buckhead about developing a collection for them. I immediately jumped on board, as I've been wanting to work on product design since early on in my blogging career. Product is such an exciting way to reach people with different backgrounds, styles, and get them to engage with something you love and make it their own. I scoured through hundreds (maybe thousands!) of images when I first started on this design journey, looking for inspiration I'd collected on Pinterest, fabric samples I'd accumulated, and images I've snapped on my phone. I'm super visual and images will get into my head and pop-up out of nowhere years later, so it was natural that a picture I'd saved long ago surfaced in my inspiration hunt – an aerial image of the gardens at Versailles. 

The graphic nature of the hedge designs was so striking, and became the inspiration for a collection of rugs that brought the magic of outdoor rooms inside. I've always loved greenery and gardening, and the history and lore associated with the most ancient form of hedge design, the labyrinth, instantly attracted me. The names of each rug actually connect to some ancient maze or labyrinth story, like the Knossos rug, named for the city in which King Minos built his famous maze to hold the Minotaur. I love weaving referencing history through the rug names, while bringing this ancient form into a contemporary design context through a contemporary (but timeless) color palette, inspired by the colors of nature. 

My favorite colorway might be Boxwood, as it's mimics the original inspiration for the rugs, but Peony is a close second, as it's my mother's favorite type of flower and works as a versatile, yet unexpected neutral on the creamy wool ground.

I am so enamored by these rugs and the stunning patterns.  I love that they bring the outside in and allow the relaxing feelings you get by walking and enjoying a garden to inhabit your home and interior spaces. Don't you agree?

To purchase a rug visit his website, Kevin Francis Design.  He has generously offered a 20% discount to readers and followers of the blog, use code PINKCLUTCH.  Honestly I am not sure which design I would pick for myself, maybe the Knossos or the Lucca.  I think these patterns are my favorite.

Thou Swell is one of my favorite daily blog reads and I truly enjoy catching up with Kevin when he is in town or on break from his studies at Cornell University.  He is a delight to spend time with and his blog is such a source of inspiration to me.  I recommend you add it to your daily reads and follow along with Kevin's journey on Instagram.

And keep your eye on this gentleman, he is most definitely going places.

Happy Monday!

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